Staying fit and healthy in Ramadan!

Ramadan Kareem to all. What a great time of year for those who are fasting. But how do we maintain health and wellness during this month were there is no eating or drinking during daylight hours?

I want to break this down into 3 sections:
Training:

    I would suggest that you train as soon as possible after Iftar. You are in a fasted state and for sure for the first 4-5 days training in this state will seem strange and energy levels will be different to normal. Yesterday, I was discussing intermittent fasting with a friend who had done it for a month and he had huge gains on many levels training having fasted for 14 hours prior to training!
What you expect from your training in Ramadan needs to be defined clearly at the outset. A simple plan such as 5 sessions a week of 45 minutes with an effort level of 7/10 for example is perfect. Of course getting even more specific is  better but a basic plan must be in place.
Food:

    Hydration is as important as ever especially with Ramadan being in summer. Stick with the tried and tested formula for hydration here. Water should always be something you break your fast with and you should be taking on a minimum of 500ml – 1litre at Iftar.
If you are going to follow the above advice on training at Iftar but feel you need something in your stomach before you train then take on around 6 dates.
Once you have done your workout you should have your biggest meal of the day. I would suggest you make it high in natural fat and stay away from starchy carbs such as bread, rice, potato, pasta. Instead use green carbs and sweet potato.
You can then eat again around 1am so long as its 1-2 hours before you go to sleep.
Stay away from all the sugars in solid or liquid form that seem to be so readily available during Ramadan.
If you are using supplements such as magnesium, fish oils, D3, Vit C then you must maintain these during Ramadan.
    I acknowledge that Ramadan is a family time and there are numerous gatherings but your rest and recovery remain top priority. You need to maintain 7-9 hours of sleep per 24 hours. Notice I am only specifying the 24 hour periods so you can split this sleep up but do not sacrifice it.
You may also be lucky enough to have reduced working hours during the holy month so make sure you use these to your advantage to be well prepared food wise or take advantage of the spare time to hit your sleep targets.
InnerFight founder Marcus Smith is a high performance coach with a wide array of clients on all matters related to performance. For more information how he can help you increase your performance contact him direct at ms@innerfight.com


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